Ellen and Unconditional Kindness: Incompatible with Our Society?

Ellen and Unconditional Kindness: Incompatible with Our Society? October 11, 2019
Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

The Twitter-sphere erupted in outrage last week, after images of Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to George W. Bush at a Dallas football game circulated the social media platform. Despite the numbers demonstrating that Twitter isn’t the premier social media platform and therefore, the collective outrage on Twitter shouldn’t be used as a reflection of societal views; Ellen was compelled to give a statement on the matter. After ruminating on the scandalous event over the weekend, she addressed the outrage on her show.

What followed her explanation was a plethora of narrow-minded commentary. And I have to say, I am baffled by the rejection of such remarks. What alternate universe am I now living in that we reject forgiveness and we reject grace within the span of a week, collectively and publicly?

As if anything Mark Ruffalo has to say means anything at all to me, his tweet in response to her and others supporting her, was astounding. Not only that, but Vanity Fair’s proclamations that “unconditional kindness” is “a brand” that is “incompatible with reality” reveal a shockingly stark optimism of society, overall. Vanity Fair asks: “What are the parameters of such kindness?”

From what I have been forced to deduce, based on the general social media consensus, which I guess suggests how society operates; it’s that Amber Guyger does not deserve forgiveness and now Ellen doesn’t deserve the right to see the good in others and offer grace. There is a limit to how much unconditional kindness you can extend, apparently. And social media and the mainstream media are the authoritative messengers that compel us to embrace this new alternate reality of “truth”.

Vanity Fair claims that Ellen’s brand of kindness is an “imagined utopia” that is seemingly “out of touch with reality”. I now really feel as if I have been transported into an alternate universe. Is kindness an imagined utopia? If that is the case, what is the point of fighting any good fight at all?

Interestingly enough, the party that believes in other imagined utopias—say for instance, socialism as a functional economic system for a country as large as the United States, finds Ellen’s stance contemptible at best, and elitist, privileged, racist, and homophobic at its worst. Which imagined utopias should we cling to, and which ones shall we disregard?

Unconditional Love and Parameters

If we limit— or put “parameters” around— unconditional kindness, that means first and foremost that we are complacent with the practice of holding two contradictory ideas in opposition. I mean, I am all for holding the tension of opposites, but prescribing to the idea that unconditional kindness requires parameters is just idiotic. It’s u-n-c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-a-l. Which means limitless. Which means you don’t put expectations around forgiveness. Similarly, we don’t do that with love, either.

Society has been forced to confront reality almost too blatantly. Brandt Jean offered up forgiveness without checking to see if he had permission from the rest of society. Ellen DeGeneres offered grace and kindness before she checked with her PR staff. How dare people act on their own convictions without checking to see if the social media stratosphere would approve of such messaging!

But Bush is Evil!

What is evil? Most of us have never experienced actual evil. Evil doesn’t exist outside the reality in which we perceive it. We only know what evil is so long as someone defines it for us. And though our minds perceive many things considered evil; evil is, just as morality can be in many cases, relative.

And because morality is relative—sometimes; words can be subjective—sometimes, ambiguous even, in other instances. When this happens, confusion can ensue. Confusion leaves us conflicted. We are distracted so much by a new presentation of evil that we don’t stop to consider that which we are identifying as evil is actually evil.

Evil once represented an act that was so cruel, so grotesque, so undignified that speaking about it out loud was just too much. Now, well, you’re evil if you use a plastic straw.  You’re evil if you don’t support abortion. Evil can be as simple as an ex showing up with a new flavor at the bar that you frequent. Evil can mean anything. And when it can mean anything, it means absolutely nothing. When evil can be anything to anybody, that means that not all people know how you are defining the word. Context matters, obviously, but how often do we get context in a tweet?

I think that Derrida warned us about this possibility: the potentiality for words to become so subjective and fluid that their definitions could not stand the test of time.  More so, words could not hold up against the necessity of iteration, the possibility of repetition. Is a word that is repeatedly used recognized as the same word for everyone, or does it lose its value?

Forgiveness has lost its value. The word has been confounded by societal impressions that aim to diminish symbolism and meaning altogether. What some would consider to be “powers and principalities”.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.    (Ephesians 6:12)

Apparently, evil now looks like sitting with a former President of the United States at a football game. Is watching a basketball game with Obama evil as well, or does that just apply to some people? How consistent will we be with these standards we set?

Is George W. Bush evil? I cannot confirm or deny such a charge. I don’t know him. I only know what was revealed to me thanks to the media. That’s all I really must go on. And as far as I can tell, there is a lot of reason to disregard much of what media tells me is “truth” as they report on it.

What I do know is that there is a cautionary verse in the Good Book that warns about making judgments of others without first removing the plank from my own eye. If we are sinners, then none are good?

But then, Isaiah comes to mind when I consider whether I want to judge another, or not:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)

I know that the policies under the Bush administration resulted in the deaths of innocents. But, do I really want to compare the death tolls of the wars our country has participated in, and then order them from greatest to least and point my self-righteous finger at one former President over the other? I mean, we could bring up the “concentration camps” that the Obama administration employed, but why keep record of wrongs?

What good would that do? Are any of us good?

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)

The Transmutation of Forgiveness

So long as words lose their definitive meanings, we will remain a divided society. The reason for this is because words that hold sacred meaning for billions of people are being reduced to defining the antipodes of what it represents.

Which word am I referring to, you ask?

F-o-r-g-i-v-e-n-e-s-s

Have we lost sight of what kind of weight that word carries? Have we forgotten that forgiveness is a demonstration of loving the enemy?

Forgiveness does not mean acceptance. Forgiveness is not an excuse for the transgression. Forgiveness does not mean condonement. Forgiveness does not erase the pain or the past. Forgiveness is a step in the process of healing.

Forgiveness, for Christians especially, is about canceling the debt of the trespass. Social and Main-stream media would have you convinced that forgiveness as we know it comes with a price. Dues must be paid. The debt cannot just be erased, according to the social dogma that pervades Twitter-sphere.

The influence of this new dogmatic approach to forgiveness is obvious. I have been baffled by the amount of self-proclaiming Christians that condemn Ellen for her acts of unconditional kindness.

The dogmatic approach that cancel culture takes is one that resembles that old “eye for an eye” analogy that I was informed was contrary to the teachings of Christ. We are not under the Law, for the Law has been fulfilled. We are under a new covenant; one that says, “love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you.” Praying for those who persecute you, as Marianne Williamson says, it’s much easier than holding contempt for them. Above all, forgive.

Forgiveness is Freely Given

Confusion has been the overreaching influence as to why forgiveness is so hard to embrace. The term forgiveness has been conflated with the term “acceptance”. But for me, just as I see God’s justice as a different kind of justice than how society defines justice; I tend to consider that God’s forgiveness is much different than what we know it to look like in practice.

Take for instance a husband that forgives his wife after she cheats on him. Yes, he forgives her. He remains married to her. But there are times that he brings up the feelings from that incident. He doesn’t forget it just because he forgave the act.

He doesn’t hold the infidelity against his wife when he is upset. He doesn’t use her past transgressions as a weaponized attack he can launch at her whenever he is having a rough day. But he has the potential to. He can use it to shame her and guilt her into performing menial tasks that he sees as a form of repayment. So long as he still claims to have “forgiven” her, he can wield power over her and manipulate her to his advantage.

Is that what God’s forgiveness is like?

Or, does God’s forgiveness look so radically different, that as soon as you have trespassed, God forgives. Before you sin, God forgives. If forgiveness precedes confession and repentance as Luther and Calvin once declared, then that would mean that forgiveness precedes belief, as William Paul Young was declared. Which would mean, at least from my line of thinking, that if I am called to live a Christ-like life, as I believe I have been, that means that I must freely give forgiveness, without any expectation that my forgiveness will transform another.

Giving forgiveness so freely is meant to transform me, first. It is about disconnecting from the signal of pain, anger, and contempt that a trespass has caused. Those emotional connections to the past transgression have already initiated a metamorphosis. A trespass takes us from a space of trust, certainty, and comfort into a space of anger and discomfort, even uncertainty. Is that not a change from our previous homeostasis?

Which means, the emotional reaction to the situation is meant to be a motivator for change—from within. It begins the process. That anger is a tool, certainly. But it is not a continuous stream of fuel. It’s just a spark. It needs oxygen to grow into something fiercer.

The problem is, we get warm from that first spark and we convince ourselves that the temporary warmth is good enough and requires minimal work. We know we could transform that small spark into a burning fire, but our misperceptions convince us that it’s too much work. It also requires that we move out from our small, sheltered space of comfort out into the openness of potentiality. That anger needs oxygen, otherwise, it chokes out all possibility for the remainder of the transformation. It leaves us with a deformed, incomplete transformation.

Anger is merely a step of many steps toward such an incredible and magical metamorphosis. We hinder ourselves from growth when we cling to our emotions. It’s no wonder giving forgiveness so freely is difficult for us; we struggle to freely give up our anger. We don’t want to freely give anything, but we damn well expect others to hand out forgiveness when we mess up.

God says: Everyone is forgiven. Human egotism says: Not everyone should be forgiven, and I have a list of reasons as to why.

#CanceltheDebt

Ellen DeGeneres cancelled the debt, but social commentary demands Bush #paythedebt.

There’s a paper trail, for God’s sake. There’s a record to be kept. We must keep people accountable for their evil acts. There is blood on Bush’s hands. How dare Ellen! She does not hold him individually responsible and condemn him.

“I’m famous enough to sit with a President and I like it.” “If you’re fed up with whining about Ellen and George bush, it’s probably because you’re white.” “Privilege is Ellen DeGeneres explaining her friendship with George Bush by saying ’just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them,’ as if what they disagree about is who was best dressed at the Emmy’s…” #BoycottEllen

And so, the debt must be paid, in full, with interest; including a public apology, following a public humiliation, and after reparations and a bequeathing of dividends for generations to come. An apology won’t be good enough. Any form of reparations or repayment would never be enough.

Forgiveness isn’t about what society finds agreeable, anyway. Forgiveness is for the individual, not the collective. It’s only that the individual is meant to influence the collective by demonstrating acts of unconditional kindness and forgiveness. The individual doesn’t owe a reason to Twitter, society, or the world, for why she doesn’t hold every sin, every mark, every misguided choice against a person she befriends.

Furthermore, did anyone consider the possibility that Bush, like Obama, changed his stance on gay marriage? Is it not possible that he connected with Ellen, or any other gay person and changed his mind? You know, repentance: to change one’s mind. Is it not possible that he had a life-changing interaction that made him realize his stance in the past was wrong? Or have we abandoned the optimism that we once held that change is possible— that people can change their minds? Do we no longer believe that people can be transformed?

If that is the case, if we are so quick to abandon hope for change, then protesting is irrelevant, advocating for any cause is meaningless, and the idea that anyone can change their mind is altogether hopeless.

I cannot help but wonder; why does society think so little of humanity? Why do you have such little faith in others?

 

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  • Bill Pavuk

    I loved that Guyger was forgiven. I loved the moment of tenderness and reconciliation that was shared with her. I believe in that forgiveness. But I also respect and understand some who were troubled by it. I respect and understand if many in the black community, who have seen white police officers kill black citizens and then receive acquittals, watch as an officer is FINALLY made to pay for their crimes and then face the same old sadness and disappointment as she not only received a very light sentence but was then consoled for it and treated as if she is a victim and not a felon. Sadly, most of the anger and disgust that I’ve heard is from people who want their pound of flesh from Guyger in a way that shows no tolerance, no openness to forgiveness. And that is truly sad. As for Ellen, I think she is wonderful. And she is absolutely right in everything she said. But I respect and understand that there are a lot of LGBT people and others in this country whose lives were, unlike Ellen’s, directly and irreparably harmed by President Bush and his policies. I can understand their outrage and disappointment, how they would feel like Ellen didn’t stand with them. But that’s not what we have here. Mark Ruffalo doesn’t fall in that category. Neither does Vanity Fair. I think there is room to find some ambivalence about the warmth shown to Guyger and the moment shared by Bush and Degeneres, because both these moments were legit painful in a personal way for some people. But that emotion has been hijacked by people who are not at all victims and are “offended” more out of habit than genuine suffering.

  • Rod Franklin

    Strong words for our nation which seems to find strength in hate.
    Who among us is free of this sin?

  • That’s a lot of words.

  • RodKuehn

    Your article severely trivializes the suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, pain that will felt every day for many generations. And he did it for profit.

    He made the United States the foremost proponent of torture, an act that was emulated by many countries.

    He lied to the nation about the cause of the war, thereby further corrupting the remnants of our democracy.

    He blatantly lied and obfuscated in a way that mocked law, justice and the essence of democracy.

    His multi-trillion $ debacle is being paid for out of the education and medical budgets of people who don’t have that kind of money to spend.

    The right to forgive doesn’t belong to you or to Ellen. It belongs to the Iraqi survivors and to the families of our vets who never came back. It belongs to the vets who came back but are afflicted with near-mortal wounds and lifelong PTSD. It belongs to the vets who came back but cannot forgive themselves for the savage acts they were inevitably forced to perform but cannot now forgive themselves for. It also belongs to the Iraqi children who will be afflicted for the rest of their days with their own PTSD as well as for their families who must contend with irreparable injury to family members.

    A person who can josh and kid around at a Cowboy’s game after creating so much grief *is* a monster. He belongs in the Hague.

  • Maya Bohnhoff

    “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    Anybody remember who said that and under what circumstances?

    When asked for an illustration of the half of the Greatest Commandment that bids us love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Luke 10:25-38), Jesus Christ offered the story of two men—a Jew and a Samaritan—who were anathema to each other. Unclean. Heretical. Ungodly. Morally and spiritually bankrupt. In that story, one man saves the life of the other without addressing any of his supposed evil.

    This is the model we people of faith have been commanded to follow. Yes, there are those who say it’s too hard, or incompatible with reality, or utopian. And it is hard. I’m sure Moses and Christ knew just how hard it was when they uttered the words, “and thy neighbor as thyself.”

    But this is unconditional kindness, and the reality is that until we understand why Christ (and every other Messenger of the Divine) has given that same standard of kindness, we will fail to progress as a species. Put in Biblical terms, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    When we pillory Ellen DeGeneres (or the Obamas, perhaps) for befriending a perceived enemy, for practicing what Christ preached, we are saying that the Samaritan was in the wrong and the priest and Levite who left their enemy in the dust to die were in the right.

    Actually, if we argue against unconditional kindness, are we not arguing that Christ, Himself, was wrong?

  • Reddy

    The sin of war crimes? Or the sin of supporting them?

  • Reddy

    Well said! This article is appalling, managing to be both disingenuous and fatuous. It is a patently false equivalence to compare a war criminal with someone who has asked for forgiveness or someone who has injured me directly. Bush and the rest of his warmongers have never shown a particle of remorse for any of the massive suffering and death they inflicted on helpless people for profit. Whitewashing his crimes is collusion, not Christian. It is not our place to “forgive” his war crimes because Americans didn’t suffer the brunt of them.

  • Jason Carpp

    Bullshit! You don’t have to condone what someone does to forgive him/her for it. You don’t have to agree with someone to like that person. I’m an atheist, and I disagree with much of what my Christian aunt says from the Bible. But she’s still my aunt, and I love her dearly.

  • You express such moral outrage but on what basis? What of the families who lost loved ones on 9/11?
    Had you been President what would you have done? I’d like to know.
    And one more thing. If Busch is a monster for the invasion of Iraq what is Trump for getting us out of endless conflict?

  • The Iraqi people had nothing to do with 9/11. That’s why they had to lie.

    Trump is not a hero for washing his hands of the whole affair, once again, with total disregard for the consequences. And the people who voted for Trump are the ones who got us into the mess, with total disregard for the consequences.

  • Forgiveness does not mean, necessarily, that they are exempt from taking responsibility for their actions.

    I don’t know much about DeGeneres but I think the presumption is that because she’s gay, she must have liberal views about everything. That’s not necessarily true. I think she was right to be civil and she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation but I don’t think she should allow people to falsely believe things about her, either. If she’s a closet Republican, for instance, she should come out!

  • You don’t have to be black or gay to be hurt by the turn this country has taken and the Iraq war has hurt everybody, hasn’t it?

  • I understand your comment about the Iraqi people. Everyone knew the pilots were mostly Saudi.
    I did not say Trump was a hero rather his prerogative is not to continue endless wars.

  • Jason Carpp

    I agree with you. I don’t presume to know about Ellen DeGeneres, other than what she chooses to show the public. She doesn’t strike me as a Trump supporter.

  • I am “anti-war” but I am not for leaving these people – the Kurds, Iraqis, Afghans – in the lurch.

    You’re right, though, there doesn’t seem to be an end to it.

    But Trump’s heart (if he had one) is not in the right place.

  • Eman Kcin

    I don’t know exactly where, but I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the Bible it says that being progressive means not having to be forgiving. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that was the prime message Jesus came to teach us.

  • blogcom

    We dealing with the selective blindness of Americans with the division sharply along political party lines.
    If we accept the Iraqi war was a bad idea what about the destruction of Libya and Syria?
    Is that different because it happened on the watch of Barrack Obama?
    It is not even acknowledged never mind anything else only proving the point.
    The current political polarization is causing destabilization and who knows what else in the not too distant future.

  • blogcom

    The message is not a political one as so many fail to grasp so it is difficult to understand what you are getting at.
    Can’t say I read the part that says ‘being progressive means not having to be forgiving’. perhaps you can point it out.

  • Rod Franklin

    The sin of not forgiving. Do I detect a smattering of this condition on your part?

  • A. Paul

    Danielle… this was a beautifully written article which just affirmed my own initial reaction after having seen Ellen with George W. Frankly I was surprised to see all the angry negative reactions to such a beautiful act of grace (and perhaps, even love?) between two people who appear to occupy opposing life choices. It’s never a bad thing when enemies can become friends… It’s still sad though to see so many angry people whose level of human consciousness and existence fail to rise above their political or social views — their reality is a small one indeed. But I guess they can be forgiven for that as well because sometimes we just have to get older before we get in touch with that softer side of our spirits which teaches us that one act of love and kindness can obliterate a universe of evil.

  • True. But to me Progressive Christianity is tainted with selective lawlessness. That should always be pointed out. Don’t believe me? Let’s compare to Catholicism for a moment. Everyone knows the history of their pedophile priests but you don’t see the Church preaching that it is now ok because they had a revelation. In their case the Pope could decide that same sex marriage is ok and that would be that. But he has not and will not. In fact the “Church” has condemned those actions.The Progressives, on the other hand, have decided that abortion is ok and preach and defend it but it is not and never will be. And the real bad news is that those who preach lawlessness are at greater risk than than those who practice it.

  • RodKuehn

    I was tempted to bring in Obama but the discussion was about George W. That being said, yes, Obama also has a great deal to answer for, not the least of which is his drive to make our wars perpetual and to extend them wherever we wish. Obama also has war crimes to answer for.

    I’d also include his bogus expansion of the war on drugs, also called mass incarceration, when he *knew* that marijuana was harmless and that the vastly greater harm came in fueling the drug wars and in ruining the lives of primarily black Americans. I have vivid memories of his smirking visage at a press conference when the question came about legalization. At that time the body count in Mexico had reached 50,000.

    Even Carter, despite his godly demeanor, waged atrocity-laced proxy war on El Salvador.

    The issue has nothing to do with partisanship. Both parties are culpable. As a nation, we simply don’t care what the government does as long as we’re warm, dry and well-fed. Our greatest allegiance is not to life or service to humanity. It is the right of self-delusion. We are Satan’s greatest success story.

    This nation is not what we believe it to be.

  • We have been in Afghanistan since 2001 yet the poppy fields are still supplying the world’s heroin. The only way that could happen is because the governments of the world allow it to continue. That means money and power override human suffering.
    As to Satan, his time is coming. Even the demons acknowledged to Jesus that they were awaiting judgment. But we have control over what we do and that is how we will be judged.

  • RodKuehn

    Your whatabout reply is disappointing. It trivializes the offense and dodges the issue. If I condemn mass slaughter in Instance A but fail to mention it in Instance B, does that somehow make Instance A less hideous? No. Atrocities must be condemned wherever they occur, regardless of party and regardless of the stature of the offender. Presidents, especially, must be held accountable.

  • Your deflecting. Busch’s decision to invade Iraq was facillitated by the way Sadam ran his country and our need to let the world know they are consequences for attacking this country.
    Busch did not make the decision lightly or alone did he? In retrospect we could have dropped a small nuclear bomb on Iraq or Iran and spared our soldiers the horrors you speak of. Then perhaps your comment about war crimes would have more weight.

  • RodKuehn

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush could have done something about 9/11. He was warned in detail about an imminent attack. But he was too busy studying goats with 2nd graders. After the goat atrocities, he decided Saddam had The Bomb. Administration hacks like Rice called up images of mushroom clouds and supported their claims with obviously forged documents and bogus informers. Then it was chemical weapons of mass destruction. Then it was babies in incubators. Then it was to make the world safe for democracy. He even got Blair to chime in. The war justifications changed by the week.

    In the meantime, he escorted the Bin Laden family out of this country before anyone was the wiser.

    Did he make the decision alone? No, he and Cheney had worked on the matter well in advance of 9/11 and even discussed how to divvy up the oil.

    But, of course, nobody believed Saddam had attacked us so they had to work up the internationally-illegal Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war.

    And how many WMDs did they finally find? zip. “Oh, they must have shipped them out of the country before the assault.” smh.

    I’m astonished that anyone still believes the war was anything but an atrocity.

  • mmcguire001

    Thank you for bringing the heart of the Gospel to this discussion.

  • I wrote about a similar passage in Luke a few months back.
    I hear what you are saying. But consider:

    Do you think I came to bring peace on to the earth? No, I tell you, but division.

    Why would Jesus want to bring division? Wasn’t Jesus about unity and Oneness? Why does this seem to contradict his other teachings?

    What if Jesus didn’t necessarily want to bring division, only that he knew that by bringing the message of peace, the Good News, the message of love and hope; that instead it would only create division? And what if that division didn’t mean a line drawn in the sand?
    Division is Detachment

    What if the division Jesus spoke to was not an actual drawing of a line, but more so a way to advance detachment? Mental detachment, more precisely.

    Detachment from what? Detachment from worldly systems, traditions, and practices- to name a few possibilities. Detachment from ideologies that we subscribe to and cling to as part of our identity.

    If you are willing to consider that division and detachment are relatively close in understanding; then we can take this verse -not as a plain, flat, literal reading, but as a philosophical proposition. One that can be subjected to a rather poetic and practical interpretation.
    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daniellekingstrom/2019/04/desire-fire-and-truth-that-inspires/

  • I like your approach to holding the tension of the opposites. Thank you for sharing your views. There is much to glean from what you have stated.

  • I think we all have agency over our own right to forgive as we see fit.
    To suggest that others do not have the right to forgive until the collective agrees that forgiveness is deserved is contrary to the message as preached by Jesus the Christ, from my line of thinking anyway.
    But, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Also, I just want to be clear. I didn’t absolve Bush from his previous actions. Forgiveness isn’t about reconciliation. It’s just the first step.

  • Great points! Thank you for sharing this.

  • It is indeed sad. But people have to come to the realization on their own terms, don’t they? Sometimes, it takes a dramatic turn of events in which we are the ones in need of forgiveness that we finally understand why it’s so important to give it out freely to all.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  • That’s really interesting and also hard to believe.

  • I think you missed the point.
    Forgiveness isn’t asked for, it is freely given. That’s the point.
    But, thanks for sharing your view.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Amen! And a Thousand Thumbs Up. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you trust them like you may have before the betrayal(s).
    IMHO, Dubya was a puppet, granted, a willing puppet, in the whole torture episode; and his invasion of Iraq was a personal vendetta.

    However, those pulling the strings, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Wolfowitz, and others in his administration, used Dubya’s weaknesses to advance their own agendas. Thus, more than 5,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis DIED in that unnecessary war. Possibly, if Bush Jr. would have stuck with his original plan to defeat terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, the outcome might have been much different.

  • Did I say the two are related? I recall demonstrating that they are different. Forgiveness isn’t about accountability nor condoning the acts that are forgiven.

  • Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Baloney! Your Vile-Orange-Idol’s “prerogative” is grovelling to Putin, Kim Jong Un, and other bloody dictators …
    while enriching himself on other people’s misery. Then betraying allies, while lying to his MAGAT’s with his every breath.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Oh looky, Bob Shiloh, the MAGAT-King of Deflection & Delusion, once again, projects
    his own lack of character and decency onto others. – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    And that’s you excuse for your defense of your Obscene-Orange-Idol betrayal of our allies, the Kurds, to certain death … thus risking the release of hundreds, maybe thousands, of ISIS-Al Qaeda-Taliban-Muslim Brotherhood terrorists being released?

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    The sin of “hate” which is what Mr. Franklin was addressing.

    And don’t pretend you aren’t beset, as we all are, by Satan constantly attacking our spirits with his own hatred.
    He (Satan) has certainly won over the hearts and minds of TЯ

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    You are wrong. Nowhere in Scripture does it absolve “progressives” or anyone else, of not forgiving their neighbors. In fact, the word “progressive” isn’t even mentioned anywhere in the Scriptures.

    It would be expedient if, before making false claims, about what’s written in Scripture, you take a few seconds to do a search for what you claim.
    Google is your friend.

    – Do not add nor subtract words from God’s Holy Scriptures. – Proverbs 30:6, Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Revelation 22:19

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Wouldn’t bring up “lawlessness” … since you support, defend, condone and worship the Lawless One himself,

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    In my own personal life, I have experienced the Sword, which Christ said he would bring upon the earth to divide his children from those who fragrantly disregard his Commandments.

    I myself, have had to sever ties with my church family and even a close friend because they listened to “hate radio” and whom many have embraced TЯ

  • Glad you noticed Ocey….

  • Rod Franklin

    It must be hell here on earth to carry your weighty load of hate and spite all the time. It seems to have already killed your spirit and it will eventually kill your body. My advice to you is to seek just a modicum of wisdom before forming opinions in the future.

  • Complicit in your mind only …

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    What exactly in my comment is “hate and spite”? When someone adds their own erroneous lies to the Scriptures, it is expedient, in LOVE, to warn them of the peril they put their own souls. Thus my comment is authorized by the Word of God itself. – Revelation 22:19

    Maybe you should take your own advice!

  • Your biblical skills are not up to this discussion. Not even you are capable of commiting that sin at this point.
    Lawless refers to Liberals using the Bible to justify sin…

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Yet you think by worshiping that wicked, lawless, child-torturing-murdering, unrepentant, hideous monster you and your ilk foisted on our country and the entire planet is somehow compatible with the Kingdom of God?

    According to Scripture, as mentioned before in the verses provided, you are deluded beyond redemption by allowing yourself to still support, defend, condone and worship the Beast.

    You have been warned! You have NO excuses.

    When you face Christ on Judgment Day, you’ll have no redemption, no forgiveness, no part in the Kingdom of God because you hated Brown people more than you loved Christ. Because you allowed the evil spirit of the Beast to replace the Holy Spirit of Christ.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    No MAGAT … the complicity is in your own soul and spirit … you’re the one supporting the Beast, not me.

  • Yes, I will have to read it again, but that is how I try to interpret the Bible’s teaching. I struggle sometimes but I don’t think a literal reading is of much help. The world’s troubles are like a heavy weight that you must mentally shed if you expect to rise above in a spiritual way.

    “If what we cling to is an ideology that demands conformity, or competition, or comparison, then we cling to another nature of division that will never lead us to peace. We can cling to worldly ideals that seek the approval of people or we can follow Kingdom ways that will lead to peace.

    This is the division Jesus knew his Truth would bring.”

    My family and I have political differences that have been extremely painful – I think their ideology does demand conformity, etc., – and it’s hard to forgive when I feel like I no longer even know their hearts.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    What I believe is that both verses are true and compatible. Just because someone has to sever ties with those who have embraced the Beast, in no way does that mean we aren’t forgiving of their betrayal, and although with righteous anger, we still love them.

    It means, that God, in His Infinite Love, has to separate his children from those who follow Satan’s agendas … because they chose to follow the Beast instead of the Holy Spirit of Christ.

    Consider, in Luke 17:4, Christ tells us: “if your brother sins against you, and if they repent, ye must forgive them.” Forgiveness is easier than restoring trust. Even God tests our faith and trust.

    Not speaking here of the “human condition” flaws which we all have, which are forgivable, but the voluntary believing Satan’s lies, spewed daily, on hate-radio, other outlets, and our so-called ‘leader’ … and by allowing the evil spirit of the Beast to replace the Holy Spirit of Christ in their hearts and minds.

    According to God’s own Word, that is the Unforgivable Sin.
    (Matthew 12:31 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Like you care about “loved ones being lost” when you dare to support and defend a hideous monster who kidnaps, cages, tortures and murders children on the US Southern Border … not to mention, constantly betrays our allies … for his own personal gain.

  • For those who want to discuss Trump- come join me over here. I actually vented about him last night.

    https://www.patreon.com/posts/trump-in-rant-30699704

  • “The majority of foundational Jewish texts assert that a fetus does not attain the status of personhood until birth.”

    Google “more than one religious view on abortion” as my link is pending approval.

  • Christianity does not agree with the Jewish Talmud. Psalm 139 shows God knew David when he was in the womb. When David says, “For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works” It tells us when God considers us a person.

    I have heard this argument many times and many ways about when a feutus is a human being.
    The bottom line is that people are using abortion as birth control and destroying God’s creation at the rate of 10 million per year. Ths great national sin in the United States is one reason why God is turning his back on this country. You will not find mention of the US at the coming of Christ and that may be because we have already been destroyed.

  • So, are you saying that when our loved ones knowingly embrace the vile hateful rhetoric coming from the right and from Trump that they are irretrievably doomed?

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    “I’m” not saying anything, it’s the Scriptures you and your loved ones should be paying attention to. I’m just God’s messenger, warning his wayward flock to return to their First Love.
    – Revelation 2:4-5

    The 3 R’s:

    Here’s what I glean from what’s happening in today’s Harlot of Babylon,
    fake-christian churches:

    It may already be too late for those who have aligned themselves with TЯ卐m₽- the-Beast.

    But our Heavenly Father, in his infinite mercy, may give them one last chance to turn back from allowing the evil spirit of the Beast to replace the Holy Spirit of Christ in their hearts and minds … and redeem themselves from committing Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit … the Unforgivable Sin (Matthew 12:31):

    Renounce the Beast!
    Repent!
    Return to Christ!

    Otherwise, those who choose the Beast will be cementing the Mark of the Beast in their own foreheads, for all Eternity.

    Choose either Light and Life or Dark and Death …… Your choice, choose wisely.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b08466c0fcafe68b043fa5ddc25b2968299ba7fa7d9243d0299908bf597ba834.jpg?w=800&h=322

  • Alpha 1

    The reason Ellen is nice to Bush is because she’s one of the few people rich and prominent enough to run into a former president socially. This also means she’s rich enough to buy her way out of any real consequences from the horrible things he did. The result is that the only Bush she sees is the Bush who’s nice to hang out with, not the Bush who lied America into a war of aggression and ran a global torture program. So when the little people criticize Bush, she doesn’t understand why they’re mad at her friend. Her instinct is to defend Bush by minimizing his crimes, because justifying her social life is more important than the lives Bush destroyed.

    Don’t confuse upper class solidarity with forgiveness and kindness. This kind of “forgiveness” exists to comfort the comfortable as they afflict the afflicted. It’s being used to minimize the harm they cause to the world by re-framing it as mere disagreement. If you accept this kind of forgiveness when it’s used to rehabilitate Bush, you’re not just paving the way for the rehabilitation of people like Donald Trump and Muhammad Bin Salman; you’re enabling the atrocities of future presidents, because they know they won’t even face social consequences for the evil they do.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    You make some very valid and poignant points.

  • That is all I have – faith in the infinite mercy of God.

    I do believe Trump is an evil man as he is deliberately leading this country astray. Just as Bush did. I don’t think it is a valid excuse to do wrong because you believe America is infallible.

  • I agree with you except that I don’t think Bush should be harassed everywhere he goes. It is our failure as a society that he is not brought to justice.

    Perhaps, Ellen should have acknowledged in her monologue the ongoing struggle for equality and the lasting repercussions of our misguided foreign policy. I think in this political climate you really should make a stand. It’s just cowardly not to.

    Personally, I would have sat somewhere else or gone home.

  • RodKuehn

    By *any* objective measure of evil, George W. qualifies.

    I strongly suspect that you have no memory of that dismal bit of US history. Perhaps you’re too young. Perhaps you didn’t follow current events at that time (there are periods in one’s life that really are too busy to follow national news). Perhaps you simply aren’t interested in that type of news. Your comments demonstrate no understanding of the gravity of his offenses. You brush it off, basically, as just another war.

    To those who were concerned with human rights and the state of our union, they were years of anguish. Both parties indulged in the bloodletting. This is about human rights; not utopias, not socialism, not politics.

    Frankly, without the acknowledgement of his atrocities, your comments come across as pollyanish. You don’t understand what you’re advocating. You might look up some of the key figures: Scott Ritter (the weapons inspector who absolutely denied – correctly – that Saddam was engaged in WMD research / production. Yellowcake – the fabricated letter supposedly requesting uranium ore from Nigeria (I think). Colin Powell’s reaction to being conned into hawking the war to the nation under false pretenses. Then look up Abu Ghraib and our torture program. Read about the destruction of the nation of the Iraq and the massive casualties. Note how Bush, Cheney, and Rice were all in the oil business. You get the point.

  • fractal

    Paul,
    I enjoy your comments, but here I must disagree.

    The Right wing stance on homosexuality is highly abusive and against our core national values of inalienable rights given by God Herself.
    So easy to advocate being “friendly” with everyone—you are a straight male—correct? No one is advocating harm to you on a systematic or institutional level.

    If you daughter had been systematically beaten and psychologically abused by her ex, would you advocate that she feel the need to be friendly to him?
    If he had the sociopathic habit of re-seducing her by being “nice” to her, and then turning around and trying to empty her bank account for his gambling—do you think she should continue her “act of love”?

    Sometimes love means refusing to give a pass and act “civilized” to those who take advantage of another person’s good nature—especially when you are wanting the VICTIM to give the pass.

    I think your advice is really advocating mushy boundaries, so that abusers can continue to abuse without worrying about confrontation.
    It sounds so sweet, but actually reinforces bad behavior and bullying attitudes.

  • Please advise what the Right wing stance on homosexulity is that presently offends you?
    Busch’s VP, Cheney’s daughter is Lesbian. Are you saying he could not be VP under Busch?
    Are you saying Cheney is not supportive of his daughter’s sexual orientation?
    What abuse are you referring to in this comment.

  • fractal

    Don’t make me laugh.

  • Flannery O’Connor

    Exactly what I wanted to say except put better in words than I could’ve composed.

  • Flannery O’Connor

    100% yes.

  • A. Paul

    “I think your advice is really advocating mushy boundaries, so that abusers can continue to abuse without worrying about confrontation.”

    Thank you for your comments… Please know that I do hear you and that your pain (for which I am so truly sorry) comes in loud and clear; to a point, I can even agree with your feelings about this issue — you seem very angry and, I feel, not without cause. In addition, you’re right, I have not suffered the despicable slurs and hatred so often heaped upon the gay community by the conservative right. My comments on this blog are not just my opinions about whatever happens to be blowing through the political currents on any given day… in fact, what you see here is the working out of 74 years of anger and hostility toward so many who were different from me.

    Now I am an old man who is trying to evolve to a better place… a place beyond my instincts for self preservation, and a place which comes from something far more real which comes from within me and not from a world so full of trouble and suffering. If I see something that looks good to me like two enemies coming together to break bread or watch a ball game, I consider that sacred and holy. You say that I advocate “mushy boundaries”…. but don’t you see, I’m trying to eliminate all boundaries because, as the writer of this article rightly suggests, there are no boundaries to Grace… and Grace may one day lead us all to Love. The abuser may still continue to abuse… but I will not; that’s all I’m saying here. My philosophy doesn’t change the world… it only changes me.

    It’s been written that when you show your enemy a kindness you destroy that enemy. I believe that heartily and pray that you will too — perhaps you’ll find, as I did, that it’s salve for our tortured soul. And so the only boundaries I want to set are on my own anger and on my need to protect myself. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I have found that once you realize that you have nothing left to protect…. that is when you become truly free. And that, to me, seems like a pretty good place to start the growth process.

    I hope you find peace… but please don’t look for it “out there” or within the depths of your own anger and contempt. Dig deeper inside yourself and you’ll find that you possess a strength and beauty you may never have known you have. We were all born beautiful… it’s this pained and often ugly world that turns us into something we were never meant to be.

    Peace to you.

  • Beautifully written with good advice. The readers of this blog will not be able to comprehend your wisdom however.
    I am a conservative and not sympathetic to the Left in almost anyway. But I don’t think “the despicable slurs and hatred so often heaped upon the gay community by the conservative right” is the source of the hatred on the Progressive Left. Why? Because there will always be haters and people who do not agree with all manner of societal norms. The real problem, as I read these blogs, is not the conservative right but the position of the Churches on the issue of same sex marriage. The “community” wants/desires/desperately needs God’s approval. That they did not get in a judicial decision and that they will not get from the churches in general anytime soon. This is so frustrating to the “community” that they lash out at anything and everything. Sitting next to a former President is an honor not a curse. Obviously Ellen did not see the issue as framed in these blogs or she would have moved. Yet the howl over this shows you that the visceral reaction is delusional. There is no logic here only emotion. Let’s take it a step further: Put all conservatives in prision and release all felons. This way when the real criminal shoots your spouse you can console yourself with self-righteousness. God Bless!

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate that.
    I think you are on to something.

  • Martha Anne Underwood

    Thank you for your post. I especially like what you said about what forgiveness is.

  • fractal

    I was not angry at all when I wrote that comment; neither was I in “pain” that you decided was “coming through loud and clear”.
    You were mistaken.
    Perhaps you have a habit of projecting emotions you repress in yourself, onto others?
    Perhaps you cannot handle your own pain and anger?

    I am an old, straight white woman who has been around the block a few times.
    It is not the “slurs and hatred” that the LGBTQ community is worried about—it is the LAWS that deny them civil rights.
    Same for women.
    Same for African Americans and refugees.

    I get you are an old man—an old WHITE man.
    You will never know or understand what others have gone thru—your life was decided when you were born and raised with a cultural silver spoon in your mouth.
    You can talk the talk, but you will never walk the walk, because all of your childhood was “White/Man” entitled, as you were taught entitlement at your mama’s knee, on every TV show and in every school you ever attended.

    Your bias and entitlement was hardwired into you.
    Not your fault, but it is something you need to acknowledge.

    As I said, I wasn’t angry at all when I wrote my initial comment.
    But I am angry now!

    How dare you give me a shallow and patronizing lecture on “peace of mind” and “nothing to protect”.
    That is your life, not the life of millions of others, who bear the brunt of our cultural greed and arrogance.

    And how dare you assume I don’t know my own soul and its worth!
    I have followed the mystic path for years, have worked diligently to open closed doors in my psyche, and have discovered my own peace and contentment in my heart, as I experience Goddess from the inside/out.

    Yes dear, I have “dug deeper” and found that my peace and anger go hand in hand—we need all the colors in our paint-box to be effective.
    Mansplaining my “strength and beauty that you may never have known you have” is pompous, patronizing and superficial.

    Anger is a part of the human condition because it is useful in identifying areas that need change, and in awakening people who would prefer to sleep comfortably while the planet and civilization collapses.

    Yes, shunning and shaming is uncomfortable for all involved.
    Invoked correctly, it also may save lives and improve conditions for us all.
    To everything there is a season.

    I think you are simply avoiding conflict because you can afford to, given your life circumstances—and hey, why put yourself out for others?
    So much easier to mingle and play kissy-face with oppressors, and then toss out peace and love notes to justify it.

    In closing, I hope you have another lifetime—perhaps as a Black woman in 1900 Alabama. Maybe you will be awakened to the fact that there is no lasting peace in this world, until there is justice for all.

  • fractal

    It is not Trumps prerogative; those decisions are supposed to be made in Congress.
    Just like funding for military aid…

  • A. Paul

    Okay… so you don’t like white folks. In that case I’m obliged to tell you that you can forget that invitation to our house this Thanksgiving.

  • Donalbain

    Class solidarity is a real thing. The rich just want the working class to realise it.

    But as for forgiveness, that comes after repentance. Bush has not even acknowledged that his homophobia is wrong. He has not acknowledged that his war crimes are wrong.

  • What I was going to say – well said.

  • Great article. Forgiveness, change of mind, accepting others even in our differences. That is the way it should be. Being kind to those who see things differently, forgiving those who have wronged us, accepting others who are not like us is much better than being mean, condemning and holding grudges. It is much better than thinking so highly of ourselves that we think we are right and everyone else is wrong. This should pertain to everyone. From a former president to a homeless person sleeping in the gutter. Showing love and kindness to people is much more godly than sitting in a church service once a week and putting some money in the plate. I does not make any difference to me what political party, what nationality, what sexual orientation or what race a person is. We are all human beings and deserving of being treated with kindness, respect and with equal rights. As this article stated, acceptance and forgiveness does not mean we agree or condone everything, but we can still be kind to others and treat each other right even in our differences.
    — Jim Gordon

  • fractal

    Flippant reply meant to distract and distance self from useful criticism.

  • A. Paul

    Useful criticism would be, well… useless in this case… generally there is no use in trying to hold an open discussion with someone who can’t be honest with themselves…. either because they are trying to hide the truth or, more likely, because they are not even conscious of their own identity and how it may be destroying them. But I’ll give it one last try anyway…

    You say you were not angry in your first post… Really?… I say I picked up anger there… this was confirmed when your next post was full of anger and ranting which you tried to justify in terms of the injustices perpetrated upon women, African Americans, the LGBTQ community etc. Not denying that these are real tragedies in life, in your case they are all just smoke to try and justify your own anger and inner turmoil.

    If your post wasn’t so sad, it could be taken as totally laughable in so many things that you said that just don’t ring true: you indict me with the words that I am “… an old WHITE man…” therefore I could never know what others have gone through. I have to say to you, madam, that that is totally inane… I am indeed an old white man, not a visitor from the planet Vulcan and I live on the same planet as you do. Next, you say you have followed the mystic path for years and that you know your inner goddess within…. I too have studied the mystics and, to a limited degree, I have also tried to imitate their practice the purpose of which is to bring us to a place of inner peace as well as cosmic harmony. Sorry! I just fail to get that from you.

    You go on to say that I am “WHITE/MAN” (your caps) entitled, having been so since childhood. Again, speaking only from your own inner pit of anger, you are not saying anything that in any way resembles the real world… I was born in a poor and partially illiterate family and I lived on a small farm with two horses and a plow and from which my family tried to eek out a meager existence.

    As for my being shallow and patronizing and lecturing…. madam, I must own up to “lecturing”. I do get a bit long in the tooth sometimes and I tend to belabor a point to death… I do apologize to you for that. When I speak to you about “peace of mind” and “having nothing to protect” I am only trying to pass on to you some of the beautiful things that I have learned from men and women, some of whom lived centuries ago, who have found the path to greater spiritual maturity. I don’t think I have ever been accused of patronizing someone when discussing spiritual growth and how mysticism can work so well for those of us who struggle every day with our own inner darkness.

    Your quote: “…Yes dear, I have “dug deeper” and found that my peace and anger go hand in hand…” Now we’re talking about something I know quite a bit about having been an angry person my whole life for personal reasons that are not germain to this discussion nor, frankly, is it something I would wish to share with someone like yourself who can’t even be honest about her own feelings. Don’t tell me that peace and anger are positive corollaries of each other…. that’s like saying that we should teach children about the dangers of firearms by shooting off a few rounds in the classroom. Peace builds us up and brings us closer to God while anger is nothing more that the manifestation of hell itself sent to destroy us and everything around us. So much of what you say doesn’t come from a reasoned position; it appears to be the product of your anger and hatred and fear that you hold within yourself. I must say this to you and you can see this as patronizing and condescending if you like, but just know that the poison you carry within yourself destroys no one but you!!

    Finally, I want to say that what I got most out of your post is that someone hurt you very badly at some point in your life…. my heart is saddened to think that somewhere and at some time, perhaps long ago, someone did something to you or someone you love to make you so bitter and angry that you can’t dialogue with someone who is trying to offer healing (not destroying) words. Whatever happened, and I’m sure it was very significant, it has left deep scars upon which you now feed hoping to strike a blow that will somehow ameliorate the pain you feel. Take it from me dear lady (I speak from personal experience) it doesn’t get any better until you have learned to make peace with those demons within. As I suggested in an earlier post, it is we, not the world, who must change if we are to find the peace we were created for. There is freedom to be found even in a prison cell. But you will always be in chains as long as you choose to build your own walls with anger and hatred and fear; and, “as an old, straight, white woman who has been around the block a few times…” it seems to me that you will understand that as long as you choose to define yourself in this way, then this will be the legacy you take with you to the next world — a living hell of your own choosing.

    Peace!!

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Thanks so much for commenting.

  • I recall Martin Luther and Calvin both agreeing that forgiveness precedes confession and repentance.

  • A. Paul

    ***** MY COMMENT BELOW HAS BEEN REMOVED AS SPAM *****
    ANY SUGGESTIONS??? ANYONE???

    Useful criticism would be, well… useless in this case… generally there is no use in trying to hold an open discussion with someone who can’t be honest with themselves…. either because they are trying to hide the truth or, more likely, because they are not even conscious of their own identity and how it may be destroying them. But I’ll give it one last try anyway…

    You say you were not angry in your first post… Really?… I say I picked up anger there… this was confirmed when your next post was full of anger and ranting which you tried to justify in terms of the injustices perpetrated upon women, African Americans, the LGBTQ community etc. Not denying that these are real tragedies in life, in your case they are all just smoke to try and justify your own anger and inner turmoil.

    If your post wasn’t so sad, it could be taken as totally laughable in so many things that you said that just don’t ring true: you indict me with the words that I am “… an old WHITE man…” therefore I could never know what others have gone through. I have to say to you, madam, that that is totally inane… I am indeed an old white man, not a visitor from the planet Vulcan and I live on the same planet as you do. Next, you say you have followed the mystic path for years and that you know your inner goddess within…. I too have studied the mystics and, to a limited degree, I have also tried to imitate their practice the purpose of which is to bring us to a place of inner peace as well as cosmic harmony. Sorry! I just fail to get that from you.

    You go on to say that I am “WHITE/MAN” (your caps) entitled, having been so since childhood. Again, speaking only from your own inner pit of anger, you are not saying anything that in any way resembles the real world… I was born in a poor and partially illiterate family and I lived on a small farm with two horses and a plow and from which my family tried to eek out a meager existence.

    As for my being shallow and patronizing and lecturing…. madam, I must own up to “lecturing”. I do get a bit long in the tooth sometimes and I tend to belabor a point to death… I do apologize to you for that. When I speak to you about “peace of mind” and “having nothing to protect” I am only trying to pass on to you some of the beautiful things that I have learned from men and women, some of whom lived centuries ago, who have found the path to greater spiritual maturity. I don’t think I have ever been accused of patronizing someone when discussing spiritual growth and how mysticism can work so well for those of us who struggle every day with our own inner darkness.

    Your quote: “…Yes dear, I have “dug deeper” and found that my peace and anger go hand in hand…” Now we’re talking about something I know quite a bit about having been an angry person my whole life for personal reasons that are not germain to this discussion nor, frankly, is it something I would wish to share with someone like yourself who can’t even be honest about her own feelings. Don’t tell me that peace and anger are positive corollaries of each other…. that’s like saying that we should teach children about the dangers of firearms by shooting off a few rounds in the classroom. Peace builds us up and brings us closer to God while anger is nothing more that the manifestation of hell itself sent to destroy us and everything around us. So much of what you say doesn’t come from a reasoned position; it appears to be the product of your anger and hatred and fear that you hold within yourself. I must say this to you and you can see this as patronizing and condescending if you like, but just know that the poison you carry within yourself destroys no one but you!!

    Finally, I want to say that what I got most out of your post is that someone hurt you very badly at some point in your life…. my heart is saddened to think that somewhere and at some time, perhaps long ago, someone did something to you or someone you love to make you so bitter and angry that you can’t dialogue with someone who is trying to offer healing (not destroying) words. Whatever happened, and I’m sure it was very significant, it has left deep scars upon which you now feed hoping to strike a blow that will somehow ameliorate the pain you feel. Take it from me dear lady (I speak from personal experience) it doesn’t get any better until you have learned to make peace with those demons within. As I suggested in an earlier post, it is we, not the world, who must change if we are to find the peace we were created for. There is freedom to be found even in a prison cell. But you will always be in chains as long as you choose to build your own walls with anger and hatred and fear; and, “as an old, straight, white woman who has been around the block a few times…” it seems to me that you will understand that as long as you choose to define yourself in this way, then this will be the legacy you take with you to the next world — a living hell of your own choosing.

    Peace!

  • fractal

    Typical misogynist response.

    Don’t like what a woman says?
    Call her:
    Damaged.
    Hysterical.
    Angry.
    “Badly Hurt”
    ranting
    fearful
    “full of hatred”
    “deeply scarred”
    “to be pitied”

    You are full of shit.
    You have such a deep well of anger in you, that it is abominable.
    But you disguise it with all those code words and by telling us all about the “peace and healing” you have found.
    Yes,
    The way you choose to attack someone who disagrees with you, is mainline propaganda; be ever so reasonable sounding, while throwing out insult after insult.
    Typical Church Lady tactics—“Bless her Heart” stuff.

    But hydroplaning on the edge of your emotional life isn’t life-affirming.
    It causes you to expend all sorts of energy to keep the lid on the volcano, while the pressure below rises, as evidenced by the tacky fiction you are writing about our interaction.

    After the stroke, when you are bedridden, all that repressed anger is going to rear its ugly head, because your ego won’t be strong enough to “manage” it any longer.
    Good luck with that.

  • Sorry I missed this four days ago.
    Genesis 2:7 explains how God made the first man, Adam, He was not born; he was created.
    Crying out that abortion is murder is not wrong; it is necessary. In this country no one is forcing a woman to do anything. They are free to destroy their children because they feel like it.
    Judas committed the unpardonable sin and he will be no more forever. You don’t know what that sin is and you can’t commit it in the first place.
    Numbers 5 is not an abortion recipe. Bitter water won’t termnate a pregacy
    If my comments make you uncomfortable that’s good. You need to stop promoting lawlessness.

  • And when you face Christ he will say to you: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

  • Donalbain

    When did Bush change his mind about the vile things he did?

  • Donalbain

    Maybe an example will help. When you want to make sure gay people have fewer rights than straight people, that is homophobia.

    And I have no idea why you are asking about Truman.

  • Donalbain

    I recall Luther and Calvin saying lots of stupid and disgusting things.

  • swbarnes2

    you seem very angry and, I feel, not without cause.

    No, she doesn’t. But in the age old tradition of treating women like garbage, you immediately jump to telling her she is emotional, so you can ignore what she wrote, and talk about yourself instead.

    I’m trying to eliminate all boundaries because,

    because doing so doesn’t hurt you, and you just do not care if it hurts others.

    The abuser may still continue to abuse…

    We understand. You don’t mind abuse, so long as the victim doesn’t impose on you by talking about it.

    It’s been written that when you show your enemy a kindness you destroy that enemy.

    The people who wrote that dearly hoped that the worst consequence they’d face for their hurting of other was kindness.

    And so the only boundaries I want to set are on my own anger and on my need to protect myself.

    But if other people protect themselves by not being kind enough to their abusers, they are selfish. Got it.

    I have found that once you realize that you have nothing left to protect…. that is when you become truly free.

    Got it. So gay people should give up having jobs, family, friends, self-esteem, safety. Because you think that’s healthier for them to have nothing of value whatsoever.

    Tell us, have you given up the security that goes with being a straight white man?

    I hope you find peace…

    Do you understand that this does not make you look like a nice person. It makes you look like someone who thinks they have found a nice way to tell someone beneath them to shut up. Everyone understands this about you.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Your judgmental comment is worthless, especially coming from someone who supports, defends, condones and worships the
    Lawless One himself … TЯ

  • Scott

    We’ve become so tribal. The level of certitude by everyone is off the charts. We don’t realize we are all the otherside of the same coin. What’s fascinating is that for all the preaching by progressives about diversity, many have no interest in diversity of thought. I consider myself a conservative communitarian and hold a plethora of progressive positions. But if I step out of line at all I get whacked. The reaction by the left to Ellen is actually common. Strict adherence to progressive doctrine in mandatory.
    It’s so odd that I have an easier time convincing my conservative friends about an issue like univeral health care than I do about convincing my liberal friends about anything that doesn’t adhere to strict liberal ideology.

  • I find it difficult to believe that you have sold many of your friends on universal health care. The problem, which has been made obvious with Trump, is that the conservative position is selfish and harmful and too many people have been shut out. The rejects at the Trump rallies, who are ignorant, amoral, and not at all politically minded are just plain hateful – which certainly is the other side of the coin from me. Trump is repugnant, his actions are insupportable, and if you can’t see that, there is something wrong with you.

  • Scott

    Well that’s a rather odd reply. I never mentioned Trump nor defended him. Your sentence, “Trump is repugnant, his actions are insupportable, and if you can’t see that, there is something wrong with you” is so out of context to my post that I wonder if there is something wrong with you. I find Trump to be a stain on our country but if progressives and the media (my apologies for the redundancy) don’t figure out how to respond to him properly, it will be four more years of the orange monster. The press and democrats can’t call everyone that is to the right of Marx a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe everytime there is a disagreement. In 2016 the choice was between beelzebub and mephostophiles. Half of the country voted for the devil that hadn’t mocked, maligned, and impugned them for the last 30 years.

  • You didn’t mention Trump, how convenient. You also didn’t mention how the Republicans had persecuted the Clintons for thirty years and that’s how long they have been calling liberals “communists” and “unamerican” for disagreeing with them.

    You say Trump is a stain on this country but you seem more bothered by this Ellen thing. Trump is causing irreparable harm and it’s not my party that elected him so maybe it’s you that should figure out a way to deal with him.

  • Scott

    My party didn’t elect him either. But the democrats certainly have some culpability. They rigged the primaries for Hillary when Bernie probably had a better chance of winning the general.
    I’m not that bothered by the Ellen event because it didn’t surprise me. This is who the left is. Step out of line and you’ll get whacked.
    I don’t need to figure out how to deal with Trump. I moved to costa rica this year so I can enjoy the debacle from afar.

  • Well, you’re just a real patriot, aren’t you.

  • Scott

    I guess that depends on what your definition of a patriot is. I’ve always wanted to spend some time doing volunteer work in central america and now seemed like the perfect moment. If nothing else, it certainly gives me a better understanding of the immigration issue than most blowhards spouting off on Patheos.
    You really come across as bitter and angry. It’s amazing the affect Trump seems to have had on your psyche and that of liberals. It can’t be healthy for people to obsess over the crazy orange monster every day. My original point was how all of us have become so tribal and you jumped in and drew Trump into the conversation. I never even mentioned his name. You’ve been nothing but hostile in your responses to me when I’ve been nothing but open and conversational.

  • You’ve done nothing except criticize lib/progs and you even blamed them for getting Trump elected! I guess that makes me responsible for the latest fiasco with the Kurds. I am very angry about that.

  • Scott

    I didn’t blame them, I said that they have some culpability. I criticize progressives because they claim to be the enlightened ones, the ones demanding diversity and inclusivity when in fact they have no interest in diversity of thought. You can’t go on insulting and maligning a large portion of the population for decades and expect no blow back. Trump, unfortunately, was a long time coming. I expect better from them than I do the orange monster.

  • Hillary did win the popular vote.

    And what you say is insulting and maligning is just the criticism that comes with change which (and I know this better than anybody) the local yokel has taken as a personal affront.

  • Scott

    You are correct that Hillary won the popular vote, but that’s irrelevant, the orange monster is in the White House. If you take out the state of California Trump had more of the popular vote in the rest of the 49.
    I understand your point about the “local yokel” and slightly agree. But there were over 60M people that voted for him and I’m sure a large number were not the stereotype you envision. Let’s admit there are crazies on both sides.
    My underlying point is that you can’t continue (media, democrats,liberals, progressives) to insult half of the country all the time and not expect consequences. One of my favorite exercises is to ask someone to google search these four words: racist sexist bigot homophobe. If you put those four word in the search bar, the first hit is from the Urban Dictionary. It reads, “A term used by members of the “left” political spectrum to describe anyone who disagrees with them politically.”
    I know it’s just the urban dictionary but there is a thread of truth to it. It has become part of our lexicon. Everytime someone to the right of Marx says something perceived to be in conflict with progressive ideology they are immediately attacked. Which is what happened to Ellen.

  • Take out California? That’s convenient, too. They are already underrepresented, per capita. I just read that if they were a separate nation, they would have the fifth largest economy in the world. Money talks, BS walks.

    And this is from a poll. Fox Fans get their news primarily from the squawking heads. There is an overwhelming mountain of airtight evidence that proves the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists. It doesn’t matter that they’ve convinced themselves that they are the actual victims. Boo hoo.

    “Fox Fan Republicans feel that society punishes men simply for being men (68 percent) and has become “too feminine” (73 percent). In the Fox Nation, white people face discrimination at the same rates as black people (77 percent)…”

  • Can you please provide some proof of your bold statement, “There is an overwhelming mountain of airtight evidence that proves the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists.”

    If you or anyone really believes that all Trump voters are racist and sexist then you are deceiving yourself aren’t you?

  • Scott

    Yep, enjoy Trump for a second term. You’ve made my point. Best of luck.

  • I don’t know how I made your point when you make mine.

    Denying that racism exists and supporting Trump >>> you are a racist.

  • Scott

    Wow, you’re arrogant as can be, and either not very bright or enjoy being untruthful. I NEVER said racism doesn’t exist and I do NOT support Trump. Nothing is my writing is even remotely close to your statement.

  • I can. Would you read it? You made no remark about my link “more than one religious view on abortion” where it says that the majority of Hebrew texts consider a fetus to not be a life until the moment of birth and you’re still going around saying it’s “lawlessness”.

  • I thought we were talking about Trump supporters. You seem to take it personally, though.

  • Scott

    My sincere apologies. I thought you we referring to me,and yes I did take it personally. If you thought someone was calling you a racist and Trump supporter, you’d take it personally as well. I think Trump’s the anti-christ but I’m just trying to be consistent in my beliefs.

  • Apology accepted. So, are you a libertarian or just a never-Trump conservative and do you acknowledge that racism against minorities does exist?

  • Scott

    I don’t know what I am. I call myself a conservative communitarian. I hold a plethora of progressive issues such as universal health care, abolishment of death penalty, criminal justice reform, etc. But I’m fairly conservative/libertarian regarding tax and economic policy. I certainly acknowledge racism especially for african americans. I want to have a dialogue about it but I want a comprehensive one and that needs to include the acknowledgment that roughly 50% of all homicides are committed by 5% of the population. When discussing gun control, which I’m in favor of, we need to talk about more than the AR15 rifles which account for approximately 300 deaths per year. 1600 people were murdered with a knife last year. Why aren’t we talking about why we have become such a violent society. Everyone wants to just have surface level conversations. Everyone is so protective of their tribe and their ideology. No one is willing to be vulnerable and admit that they may be part of the problem and that they may hold views that are incorrect. I held a ton of conservative positions that were completely wrong, especially around marriage equality. I had someone talk with me instead of calling me names and showed me how wrong I was, just as I have schooled conservatives around universal health care. We need to be talking with each other instead of at each other.

  • It sounds like you are evolving. Or, put another way, you have become “woke” to certain social injustices. Well, I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

    I am at a disadvantage here as my Internet acces is limited. But, I would suggest that you explore the correlation between race, marginalization, poverty, and violence. There’s a lot of material out there but this pdf is especially enlightening. And another link, I will post them separately as sometimes Disqus puts a hold on them.

    See what you think.

  • Yes I would.
    I did reply to your Hebrew comment. I believe it was cnesored.

  • Your link was censored.
    Google “more than one religious view on abortion” as my link is pending approval.
    What do you conside foundational texs to be?

  • Your link was censored. Try typing it in without the www or the dot com.